Roger Waters says he turned down a “huge amount of money” for the prospective use of Pink Floyd’s song “Another Brick in the Wall, Pt. 2” in a video advertisement for Instagram. He addressed Mark Zuckerberg with his public response, saying “Fuck you! No fucking way!”
“Another Brick in the Wall, Pt. 2” is one of Pink Floyd’s most famous songs from The Wall, their 1979 full-length rock opera. Any additional information surrounding the Instagram promotion video was kept a secret.
The public response was made while Waters was speaking at a forum that was organized in support of the release of WikiLeaks’ founder Julian Assange, who has been in jail in the UK since April 2019. Mexico’s La Jornada shared a video of Waters’ statement on Twitter over the weekend.
“This is something that I actually put in my folder when I came out here today,” Waters began, while pulling out a piece of paper. “You have no idea what it is — nobody does — because it arrived on the internet to me this morning. It’s a request for the rights to use my song, ‘Another Brick in the Wall (Part 2),’ in the making of a film to promote Instagram.”
He paused as the crowd laughed at his statement, then continued, “So it’s a missive from Mark Zuckerberg to me with an offer of a huge, huge amount of money, and the answer is ‘fuck you! No fucking way!’”
“And I only mention that because it’s the insidious movement of them to take over absolutely everything,” he continued. “So those of us who do have any power, and I do have a little bit — in terms of control of the publishing of my songs I do anyway. So I will not be a party to this bullshit, Zuckerberg.”
At this point, he began reading directly from the letter allegedly written by Zuckerberg, or at least written on his behalf. “We want to thank you for considering this project,” he read. “We feel that the core sentiment of this song is still so prevalent and necessary today, which speaks to how timeless a work [it is].”
Waters looked up from the letter, “It’s true, and yet they want to sojourn it. They want to use it to make Facebook and Instagram even bigger and more powerful than it already is, so that it can continue to censor all of us in this room and prevent this story about Julian Assange getting out to the general public…You think, how did this little prick, who started off going, ‘She’s pretty, we’ll give her a 4 out of 5, she’s ugly, we’ll give her a 1,’ how the fuck did he get any power in anything? And yet here he is, one of the most powerful idiots in the world.”
The video ends there. Waters has been publicly protesting in support of Assange’s release since February 2020, when he joined hundreds of people who were marching through central London, demanding the WikiLeaks founder’s release. He told the U.K.’s Sky News back then, “I am representing the thoughts of ordinary people who believe in the law, freedom, and the freedom of the press and free speech.”
Photo credit: Sharon Alagna